Puducherry L-G Kiran Bedi 'clarifies' order linking free rice distribution with Swachh Bharat campaign after public outrage

Puducherry Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi announced an order for the union territory, which would halt free rice distribution to the poor if their villages are not free of open defecation and garbage

FP Staff April 28, 2018 22:21:25 IST
Puducherry L-G Kiran Bedi 'clarifies' order linking free rice distribution with Swachh Bharat campaign after public outrage

Puducherry Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi on Saturday 'clarified' a controversial order to halt free rice distribution to poor people in the Union territory if their villages are not free of open defecation and garbage.

Bedi made the announcement late on Saturday evening after receiving a backlash for her decision. She said that she will allow the Puducherry government more time to make the area "open defecation free," News18 reported.

Bedi had earlier shared on Twitter that she would halt free rice distribution unless villages are proven open defecation and garbage free. "Linked free rice distribution to respective constituency MLAs and commune commissioners certifying villages 'open defecation free' and of strewn garbage and plastic. Free rice reaches out to more than half of the population, primarily in rural areas. This is the learning of the morning round today," Bedi wrote on Twitter, sharing images along with the announcement.

Bedi also shared a press release saying free rice distribution for the poor would be halted from 31 May if their villages fail to have a "clean certificate" from the government, proving they are free from open defecation and garbage. Indian Express journalist Arun Janardhanan shared the release on Twitter.

In the release, Bedi says that she is "anguished" to see the slow pace of rural sanitation despite the Swachh Bharat mission. She claimed that while the community leaders were proactive in raising the demands of the people, they did not show enthusiasm to participate in Swachh Bharat campaigns.

Puducherry LG Kiran Bedi clarifies order linking free rice distribution with Swachh Bharat campaign after public outrage

File image of Puducherry Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi. PTI

"As such, in order to inculcate a sense of responsibility amongst the local community, we require to cast a duty upon the local community for maintenance of their localities clean and healthy," the release said.

Bedi said that she has issued directions to the director of civil supplies to vet rice distribution and a notice would be given to villagers four weeks prior to its implementation, giving the people a month to make their villages clean.

Bedi said she hopes the decision would make the people hasten their duty to make the objectives of the Swachh Grammen Union Territory a reality. This decision immediately received backlash, with Naryanaswamy calling the move 'unconstitutional'. Chief Minister V Narayanswamy told The News Minutes that Bedi was "meddling with the fundamental rights" of Puducherry's residents.

"In Puducherry, most of the rural villages are clean. There are problems in a few villages which we will concentrate upon. For that, the administrator, without knowing the implication of the instructions that she has given, is trying to meddle with the rights of the people for which she has no power. What Kiran Bedi has said is against the spirit of the National Food Security Act," he said.

Congress leader Pawan Khera told News18 that Bedi's order was outrageous. "You cannot stop the smooth functioning of PDS. Why should people be punished? Even Tughlak was better," Khera said.

The Puducherry lieutenant governor Twitter account had shared a video announcing linking free rice distribution to the Swachh Bharat initiatives, announcing how they would go about implementing this move that has now been scrapped.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Kanye West calls music industry 'modern-day slavery', tweets pages of his recording contracts
Entertainment

Kanye West calls music industry 'modern-day slavery', tweets pages of his recording contracts

Kanye West shared a series of tweets to criticise Universal Records and Sony, demanding their overly complicated contracts be "simplified now"

Disney+ Hotstar to premiere Akshay Kumar, Kiara Advani's Laxmmi Bomb on 9 November
Entertainment

Disney+ Hotstar to premiere Akshay Kumar, Kiara Advani's Laxmmi Bomb on 9 November

Laxmmi Bomb was initially slated for a traditional release on 5 June, but the makers changed their plans after the coronavirus outbreak led to the shuttering of cinemas.

Subramanian Swamy gives BJP time till Thursday to remove IT Cell chief Amit Malaviya
Politics

Subramanian Swamy gives BJP time till Thursday to remove IT Cell chief Amit Malaviya

Swamy had said that the BJP IT Cell had gone rogue and was putting out fake ID tweets to make personal attacks on him, while not clarifying what the underlying issue is